1. Because you already do
“I will not support this film because it’s directed by an atheist.” This has been a popular argument this weekend among many believers. Yet many of these same Christians have seen and praised such films as, Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, Titanic, Lawrence of Arabia, Rocky, and the majority of Disney films, all of which were directed by men and women who were either atheist, agnostic, or subscribers to a belief system other than Christianity.
The reality is, we as Christians often check our morality at the door when we go to theater. But all of a sudden when a film is labeled “religious” “Christian” or “biblical” in any way, we grab our Bible’s ready to pick apart every last moment like Ebert and Roper having a bad day. This is something I’ve grown incredibly tired of, because I think there is such a strong and fruitful alternative.
2. Because people are talking, and we need to listen
Many Christians may feel that they are “standing firm in the faith” by boycotting films like Noah. I, however, don’t see this as anything but a wasted opportunity. In a world that grows increasingly “anti-God”, how often do we find a natively biblical story at the center of the cultural conversation?
And our reaction is to judge the film before even seeing it, thus eliminating ourselves from the conversation entirely? How is this helpful to anyone?
We as Christians will never be able to gain any sort of influence in this world until we set down our pride and educate ourselves on what’s going on in our culture. Being “not of this world” does not mean ignoring this world. We still must be in the world if we truly wish to have a profound effect on the world for Jesus.
3. Because God is bigger
True, our world grows ever ‘secular’ by the day, but our world and its people, regardless of religious affiliation, are also constantly seeking truth.
Is our view of God so small that we think His name must be explicitly stated and preached in order for Him to work through a piece of art?
God’s truth is made clear in His word, but it is also expressed through His children and the stories we tell. Stories of love, hope, peace, trust, redemption, and grace are all around us in books, on television, and on the big screen. God is in and working through those stories, even if His name is not on the marquee or in the script.
People constantly recognize with these stories because they speak to something we long for in our hearts. They speak to a gap that needs to be bridged, a need that we’ve always had. They speak to our need for truth. That truth that we seek, that image of love from that film, that picture of grace in that novel, God is in that. And while we may not realize it’s Him right away, I believe God is powerful enough to reveal to each and every heart that in is indeed Him and His Son Jesus that we’ve been searching for all along. Let us as Christians stop nit-picking morality and begin seeking truth. Let us support those stories. Because where the truth of God is expressed, His name, and the glory of His name cannot be far behind.